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What do your kids need during your divorce?

Ending a marriage often comes after going to great lengths to determine what is best for you and your family. Many times, that involves internal struggles with where you will live, how you might survive financially post-divorce and how to determine child custody arrangements.

No matter how much tension there may be between you and your spouse, you likely want to minimize the impact your divorce has on your children. But do you know how to help your kids cope as you determine your new normal?

Three ways you can help your children adjust to your divorce

Children often absorb the stress from situations happening around them. And they may experience confusion over their thoughts, feelings and fears.

While you reassure your children that your divorce is not their fault and you and your spouse love them, you might consider some ways to comfort your kids during your family’s transition. These include:

  • Listen. Encourage your children to be honest with you so you can acknowledge their feelings. Empowering them to identify how they feel can be a powerful tool for challenges they face as they grow older.
  • Be diplomatic. While you do not need to involve your children in the full details of your relationship trouble, you can be honest about how you and your soon-to-be ex no longer get along and have decided it would be best to live apart.
  • Maintain consistency. Your children’s routines will change as you begin to implement a visitation schedule. However, as parents, you can try to adhere to similar schedules and rules at each household. Although it may be harder than ever to discipline your children when you know they are struggling with changes in their family, enforcing boundaries can provide a sense of stability.

Changes in your family unit may be difficult for each member to accept. However, by helping your children cope, you might find that your divorce is an opportunity to remember what is truly important: maintaining healthy, supportive relationships with your kids.

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